The World Health Organization (WHO) has now applied the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) status on the current outbreak of novel coronavirus. This declaration is only reserved for major health risks that the WHO deems can be spread internationally and requires immediate coordinated action throughout the world.
The decision was made by the Emergency Committee that the WHO formed to look into the outbreak. This is only the sixth time that a PHEIC has been declared which now puts the novel coronavirus on par with the outbreak of H1N1 in 2009 as well Ebola in 2014 and Zika in 2015.
According to the WHO’s announcement, the Chinese government has reported that there are 7,711 confirmed and 12,167 suspected cases over there. Out of these cases, 1,370 cases have been deemed as severe and 170 people have died due to the deadly Coronavirus.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 30, 2020
Outside of China, there are now apparently 83 cases in 18 other countries with 7 of them reported to have never traveled to China before, although no deaths has yet been reported in these cases. In addition to that, there is now confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus in 3 countries outside of China.
WHO’s Emergency Committee have however stated that travel or trade restrictions not yet necessary at this current stage of the outbreak. It is also believed that the virus spread can still be contained provided that immediate and strong measures are taken by affected countries throughout the world.
(Source: WHO. Image: Getty Images via WHO.)